aka The Frazzled Mom
With their relationship improving, Karl was happy. Every day, he would spend time with Crissa. It wasn’t time, as in sitting in the same room. It was quality time, as in meaningful conversations. Time spent enjoying walks around the property. Learning of each other’s interests besides focusing on the one show. It felt like real growth between them.
Karl had planned it all out. He would spark her affection for him. And eventually, he would marry her. She was more than a fan now. Crissa started as a fan. He wanted more than that now. He wanted a partner for life.
That afternoon, Crissa drove them into town. While she spent the time gathering necessary groceries to restock, he’d strolled over to the tourist trap. Trinkets and thingamabobs littered the shelves and filled every cabinet in the store. The aisle was tight to walk through. Stuffed animals, yard signs, bird feeders and more were packed on either side of the floor. Karl made a beeline for the jewelry display. They didn’t care real stones or gems, but the rings were pretty enough. For this occasion, it would have to do. He’d upgrade it eventually, when they went into the city.
He took out his wallet and paid for the ring in cash only. When Crissa had first given him the wallet back, it was a bit nerve-racking. His credit cards were gone, as was his driver’s license. After a while, though, it felt freeing. No longer tied to debt, to banks, or even to the government. All those years of being “on” nearly every second of the day, he was no longer chained to society.
Pocketing the ring and his wallet, he strolled back to the local grocery store where Crissa was in the middle of a conversation with the clerk. Karl stood in the back of the store, browsing, but not really looking. He was more interested in what she had to say. Crissa was going on and on about Mercy Terminal, the reboot. She mentioned the convention and plans to go. After all this time, she’d been lying to him?
Karl was livid. He knew he’d have to wait until they were in the car. Or perhaps until they were home. Either way, he was going to confront her about it and demand she give it up. Completely.